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  • Onyx

Oh oh Donna

Hi ya all.

Tonight we were entertained by Donna Clark.

She teaches the upper echelons, photography, at the St. John Payne school, just off Patching Hall Lane.

Luckily, she didn’t bring chalk or a board eraser to chuck at me ‘n Chris if we was naughty.

Donna came to us, recommended by Selva.

Miss gave us a talk about portraiture (hopefully as a precursor to a portrait night) starting off with a few photos demonstrating viewing/taking positions to show us how to consider the sitter. How to avoid cowing them all the way through to making them the dominatrix. Miss backed this up by giving a brief pro’s & cons of each pose, ably demonstrated by photos taken by her students (and there was some cracking work by them too) She then took us to the side, having the sitter turn to face the camera.

So many nuances to be had just by moving your camera position.

Next, we discussed lighting. Five simple set ups

First we had split lighting with a reflector to bounce light back into the unlit side. Your light strikes the sitter more or less at the same height as the sitter (like a window) the idea is to create a shadow off the nose that just gives it shape, hopefully not reaching the cheek.

Next up was Loop lighting. This is a natural progression from Split where we give the nose a definite shadow. We’ve now brought the light source round to the front partially, and up slightly.

Following that was Rembrandt lighting. So named because he sometimes used this in his portraits. This time the light is harsher and set so as to cause a distinctive light triangle on the sitters cheek.

Next we had Butterfly lighting. This involves the light being placed above the photographer, so as to cause a shadow under the nose. Not mine (‘tache messes that up) the sitters … that makes it look like a butterfly.

Lastly she touched on Chiaroscuro (pronounced key a ros curo) lighting (though her demonstrative photos were more like rim lighting) the literal translation of this is … light and dark. The idea behind this is to have your subjects well lit against a dark background and the shadows give us modelling. Try putting Chiaroscuro in Wiki and you’ll see what I mean.

That took us up to half time.

The second half was an open forum with Miss putting up ideas and images for us to discuss. Quite often, as she said from personal experience, a little chilling. Like having a photographer follow someone, without their knowledge, and completing a documentary on his week in Venice.

Or maybe you could fancy being contacted by someone who wants to take your photo. However, you have to leave your curtains open, leave all the lights on and stand still in the window, whilst a shadowy figure ambles up, sets up a tripod and takes your image. You never get to meet the photographer!

Strangely enough, Miss fitted in like one of the club members and her time soon flew by

So Cheers Donna, hope you can make it back again so you can impart more techniques and tricks onto us mere morsels.

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